Friday, August 10, 2018

New Holstein Grads Top ICC$™ Index

Tuesday marked another exciting day of sire summaries for GENEX. The Ideal Commercial Cow™ (ICC$™) index continues to identify sires who will produce cows to fit into commercial dairy operations with five sub-indexes which will enable you to easily narrow your genetic focus, if desired.
Topping the Ideal Commercial Cow™ (ICC$™) index at +1285 is an exciting new sire, 1HO13471 HYFLOW. This Ragen out of a Josuper combines excellent health traits (+7.6 Productive Life, +3.6 Daughter Pregnancy Rate) with outstanding production (+2338 Milk). This calving ease sire (6.2% Sire Calving Ease) will easily sire healthy daughters according to his +406 for the Health (HLTH$) sub-index.

1HO13483 LOKI and 1HO13805 AVALINO are two new Frazzled sons. LOKI ranks second for the ICC$™ index with an impressive +1259. He is also +2752 TPI® and +864 Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$) and sires nice udders (+2.20 Udder Composite). AVALINO is +1113 ICC$™ and will sire daughters with both great udders (+2.40 Udder Composite) and exceptional production (+2024 Milk). Both LOKI and AVALINO are A2A2 as well.

1HO13442 SLAM DUNK debuts at +1184 ICC$™ and offers unique pedigree diversity (Surgeon x Supersire). SLAM DUNK stands fourth in the lineup for LNM$ at +928 and is a well-rounded production sire at +1926 Milk and +147 Combined Fat and Protein (CFP). He can be used in heifer pens with his 6.4% Sire Calving Ease (SCE) while also improving component percentages.


1HO13404 SAMSUNG and 1HO13432 CONCORD are two new exciting Modesty sons that joined the lineup. SAMSUNG is our leading LNM$ sire at +958. This sire of sons is +2718 TPI® as well and will make large strides in improving Protein (+0.11%) and Fat (0.29%) percentages while increasing yield at +151 CFP. SAMSUNG is available in GenChoice™ sexed semen only. CONCORD will improve udders (+2.01 Udder Composite) and is +1050 ICC$™ and +910 LNM$.


Two new RED bulls were activated, 1HO13831 FIREFLY-P-RED and 1HO13833 SKOONER-RED. FIREFLY-P-RED is a Zinger out of Sympatico that can be used in the heifer pens (6.6% SCE) and will sire fancy daughters (+2.21 Udder Composite). SKOONER-RED is a Tyne out of a Launch; this bull can also easily be used in heifer pens (6.5% SCE) and will improve daughter fertility (+3.9 Daughter Pregnancy Rate). 

1HO13449 CARUBA-P is an exciting new polled sire with outstanding yield. He joins the lineup at +1016 for the ICC$™ index with +169 CFP and over a ton of milk. This Answer out of a Josuper is also positive for daughter fertility and is a calving ease option (6.8% SCE). 

1HO11376 TABASCO daughters

In addition to the new debuts, 1HO11376 TABASCO had a great day. TABASCO added daughters and now ranks extremely well at +1056 ICC$™ and +2731 TPI®. This puts him in the top 10 on the daughter-proven TPI® list. This Jacey son combines elite milk production (+2240 Milk) with daughter fertility (+3.9 Daughter Pregnancy Rate).







Friday, August 3, 2018

10 Questions with GENEX Vice President of Production Kristi Fiedler

Recently I had the chance to get a few minutes with one of our newest company vice presidents. She heads one of our largest and arguably most critical departments-production. Spend a few minutes getting to know Kristi Fiedler.
  1. How long have you been in your current position? A little over a year.
      
  2. What did you do prior to your current job? I have worked several jobs at CRI since my MOET (multiple ovulation and embryo transfer) internship in Fall 2005, including about 1.5 years in milk testing for AgSource. I came back to GENEX as a dairy consultant in eastern Wisconsin.  After earning a master’s in management I was hired to oversee the U.S. Technical Services team. In that role I managed the national team of strategic dairy consultants and the dairy support programs used by GENEX field staff.

  3. How did you get your start at GENEX? See paragraph above.

  4. How many employees are on your production team? There are 134 employees between production and distribution.

  5. What areas does production encompass? Production is everything from the time a bull is identified as a genetic outlier to the moment his frozen semen leaves distribution. The team manages health testing, animal pickups, young bull rearing, bull handling, collections, lab processing, cryopreservation, research and more.

  6. How many locations do you oversee? Production is located in five locations: Ithaca, NY; Tiffin, OH; Shawano, WI; Strafford, MO and Billings, MT. 
  7. What has been the biggest challenge of your new position? The biggest challenge in production is that GENEX is in a transition phase, as is the industry.  Bulls don’t stay in stud very long before their genetics are obsolete, on average 2.5 years. So it is crucial for bulls to qualify for CSS and EU as quick as possible, and then they need to be in a collection barn. Our facilities were built for housing long-term bulls in waiting, so we need to invest in facilities to get more bulls in production stalls to increase availability of sires for marketing.

  8. Is there any new development on the horizon you can tell us about? The young sire teams in both the livestock and lab side are doing an excellent job preparing bulls for collection at an earlier age. They accomplished this goal by using research in calf nutrition and lab technologies to lunge us forward in reducing the generation interval.

  9. What do you enjoy doing on your time away from GENEX? My time away from GENEX is spent with my family. My husband, Brian and I have two children, Allyson (4) and Hudson (2). When we get a break from them we can be found in the woods hunting, on the water fishing or on the volleyball court.

  10. What advice do you have for people just entering the job market? Set goals and hold yourself accountable to achieve them. Take time to go to seminars, take extra classes, gain experience and knowledge. GENEX has been a wonderful in helping me and others advance in our careers, but ultimately it is your responsibility to keep up with new skills, change and information.  


Friday, July 27, 2018

Bull Sorting - We Have an App For That!

So by now you may have heard GENEX has a dairy bull search app. If you haven't had a chance to download it yet, I'm here to tell you to get on it. While, I may work for GENEX, I did not have any input into the app's creation. I did download it a week before the public release, so I have had a little more time to explore its features, and I will tell you, I am excited. I will admit, I don't have a lot of extra apps on my phone other than kids' games and the radar, but I have seen and read about my fair share. The convenience of this app makes it well worth the download time and space used on my devices.


DOWNLOAD
So let's first talk about download. The app downloads pretty fast compared to the games I have to get for my kids. It does take a few extra moments to get the bull information once the initial download is complete. But again, it is pretty speedy and it tells you the progress it is making along the way. I was expecting it to take longer considering it has 40,000 bulls in the database.

Once you have the app and bull database downloaded, you can use the program anywhere; no internet required. This is a wonderful feature considering I will probably be using it either in the far-reaches of the barn or as time permits while waiting for the next wagon, load, etc. in the field or at the mill.

The app says updates will be available on the bulls, and it will notify you when you can receive those updates.

FEATURES
The 40,000 bull database of the GENEX Dairy Bull Sort App includes all six major dairy breeds. This is important to me, as I personally use Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn genetics on my farm. After you select a breed, you can sort based on the ICC$™ index, or any of the other most popular indexes. Then feel free to use the filter button (shown below) to narrow your search. 

Once you have a bull you are interested in learning more about, you can use the icons at the top (shown in the red box below) for additional information. A feature I found particularly helpful was being able to click on the bulls in the sire stack. The app then takes you to the sire or grand sire's page. What a time saver!
When you have the bull or bulls you are interested in, you are able to export the data to a Microsoft Excel or CSV file, or you can make a pdf of individual bulls like shown below.

While this app is already very functional, the best part is that it is new and developers are interested in making it work for you. Let us know if you have ideas on how it can be improved.

GET THE APP
So what are you waiting for? Download the Bull Search app today!




Friday, July 20, 2018

Sometimes We Just Need to Look

I was really searching this week. Searching for inspiration. Maybe it was this summer cold I picked up, maybe it was the kids being done with summer school and driving me a little crazy. Whatever it was, time had come for me to take a deep breath, slow down and look at the beautiful world around me. This life is certainly not easy, but there are so many reasons we love it, sometimes we just need to spend a little time looking.

We were blessed with twin heifers to add to our little Jersey herd on Wednesday. The kids have had fun getting them out. Jess calls them her "little sweeties."

 Anyone who knows me knows I am not a cat fan, but I can appreciate their antics when I take the time to appreciate them.

 If you raise Jerseys, you know, they are always in some type of trouble, or looking for attention!

Today's much needed rain added beauty to the spinner,

and moisture to our knee high third crop

 and tasseling corn.

The rain also gave the bees a rare vacation day,

but it didn't stop the neighbor's turkeys from needing to be herded home. Good thing I have a little man who is up for the task.




Life is good indeed! That doesn't mean it isn't still hard, just that I remember why I chose this lifestyle. I am thankful that from time-to-time, when I need a pick-me-up, I am able to find the inspiration I need just by taking the time to look.

Monday, July 9, 2018

5 Bad Habits of A.I. it is Time You Break

Let's face it, we all do our jobs in a certain way, often without even thinking about it. Sometimes we develop habits that allow us to get the job done faster, but not really effectively. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask two members of our A.I. training team for bad habits they commonly see on farms.

Javier Cheang, A.I. Training Instructor
Carlos Marin, A.I. Training Instructor Manager




















Here are their top five.
1) Over confidence. Once you have a lot of experience breeding cows, it is easy to try to skip steps. Don't! Every step is important to achieving good results.

2) Pulling the gun out instead of pushing the plunger when depositing semen. This is very common, and we see it a lot. To properly deposit semen, plunge the gun half way, then double check the tip of the gun for proper placement. If it is in the right place, deposit the second half of the semen.

3) Depositing frozen semen. Pocket thawing is easy to do, but sometimes not enough time is given to allow the semen to thaw properly. If the cow is really close to where the gun is being loaded, better to opt for the water thaw method.

4) Dirt, grime and slime. This is a combination of several instances where a little extra time and effort can yield big results.

  • Not wrapping the loaded A.I. gun in a clean breeding sleeve. We see guns go into the technician's shirt, and whatever we put in the cow's tract is going to stay there. If the gun wasn't wrapped, it could mean way more than just semen: sweat, lint, dust, manure, deodorant.
  • Dirty water in thawing vessels or incorrect temperatures. It is not rare to find slimy water thaw vessels. This is a good source of contamination for semen straws and A.I. guns. Also check to see that your thermometers are working properly. Water must be at 95 to 98° F.
  • Gunky pockets of A.I. gun warmers. If using a warmer, make sure to clean and wash the inside pocket often.
  • Contaminated A.I. guns. Clean your guns at least once a week with warm water, but never add detergent. Let them dry standing upright. Spray them with alcohol to help with disinfection.
  • Manure on the vulva. Clean the vulva with a paper towel prior to A.I. gun insertion to prevent contamination.
5) Raising the canister above the semen tank frost line. Lifting the canister above the frost line exposes remaining semen straws to room temperatures and starts the thawing process, thus the possibility for sperm damage.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Serving You First


Back in May, I had the opportunity to tag along on a GENEX Beef chute-side service project near the small town of Summersville, Missouri. The Kirkman brothers (kind gentlemen that they are) and the local GENEX representatives allowed me to document the day. Through the experience, I witnessed the producers’ passion for the beef industry and the GENEX reps’ sincere desire to assist cattle producers through personalized genetic and reproductive programs – all while surrounded by beautiful scenery. Check it out!
                                                                          ~ Jenny Hanson, GENEX Communications Manager


If you are interested in putting GENEX chute-side service to work on your ranch, contact GENEX at 888.333.1783 or info@genex.coop.




Friday, June 22, 2018

Top Repro Tips

Have you hit a ceiling when it comes to your cattle reproduction numbers? Perhaps these quick tips from three of our GENEX staff members can take your numbers to the next level!






Friday, June 15, 2018

Five Myths on Sun Safety

Skin cancer affects more than one million people every year. It is a big deal, especially to farmers who have no choice, but to spend a majority of their time outside. I have a husband with red hair and incredibly fair, freckly skin, so sun safety is something I think about often. I just wish I could get him to think about it half as much as I do! Here are five of the most common myths I have heard him try to get past me.



Myth #1 - Skin cancer comes from the big burns.
Research has shown that skin cancer, in fact, comes from cumulative sun exposure. Sun safety measures should be practiced each and every time you are exposed to the sun.

Myth #2 - Applying sunscreen will protect me all day.
While a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 is recommended, it only means you are protected from a reaction to the sun's effects 15 times longer than without the sunscreen. Make sure you are reapplying as directed on the bottle, and if you are sweating, check to see if the type you have is water-proof.

Myth #3 - My baseball cap is all the sun protection I need.
Unfortunately a baseball cap doesn't do a good job of shading vulnerable areas on the ears, temples, face and neck. Wide-brimmed hats are a better option when talking about sun safety.

Myth #4 - All sunglasses are created equal.
When you buy your glasses look for the tiny peel off label on one of the lenses. It should tell you the UV rating of the glasses. Look for a rating of 100.

Myth #5 - I only have to worry about sun protection on sunny days.
I live in Wisconsin. I can tell you some of my worst sun burns came on days I wasn't thinking about sun at all, like on a cloudy, snowy January day. Granted I usually only ended up with sunburn on my face, and maybe the backs of my hands depending on if the outside temperature allowed me to take off my gloves. Sun protection should be a consideration each and every day, cloudy or sunny.

What tips or tricks do you have for protecting yourself or those you love from the harmful effects of the sun? I would love to add them to my constant nagging reminders for my husband!

Source: Iowa State Extension, Remember Sun Safety in the Field

Friday, June 8, 2018

No Secrets to Excellence in Genetics and Reproduction

GENEX recently named their 2017 Excellence in Genetics & Reproduction award winners. In interviews with the award recipients, we learned there really are no secrets to this type of success. The two reasons behind this? The first is a huge combination of factors are at play when it comes to reproductive excellence. The second is because farmers are so willing to share what they are doing to help others. Read on to learn more about this year's winners!
Soon after the parlor was built in 2000, owners Tim and Penny Holmes were struggling with a 15‑20% pregnancy rate. Knowing they could do better, they brought in experts to improve their game, and they hit it out of the park!

Today, Tim and Penny, along with their son Travis, milk 400 cows in a double-8 parallel parlor. Their herd provides a daily average of 94 pounds of milk per cow with 4.0% Fat and 3.1% Protein, milking three times per day. If those numbers and a 107,000 somatic cell count don’t get your attention, then their impressive 40% cow pregnancy rate and 60% first service cow conception rate should.

The Holmesville Dairy team, consisting of the owners, herdsman, milking crew, veterinarian, nutritionist, A.I. company and business consultant have been together for over 10 years. Tim attributes most of their reproductive success to team longevity. “It is a team effort that makes the difference,” explains Tim. Each player on the team plays an important part in the farm’s reproductive success. “It is the
consistency that is key.”

When asked what makes the reproduction program at Maple Ridge Dairy successful, herdsman
Michael Martin jokes, “We don’t want to give away all our secrets!”

All kidding aside, Dan Preuss, a GENEX Reproductive Program Senior Technician (also known as Breeder Man Dan) who has bred cows at the dairy for 11 years, explains that it comes down to good cow management. “The people, the compliance … it all leads to a really strong repro program here.”

“We stick to the protocols,” adds herdsperson Jami Schultze. “Compliance is very important to us. We try to get as close to 100% compliance as possible.”

For 2017, the dairy averaged a 39% pregnancy rate on cows with 87% pregnant by 150 days in milk. This was achieved while the top 25% of first lactation cows received a first service to GenChoice™ sexed semen and the bottom 40% of cows were bred with beef semen.

Plymouth Dairy, owned by the Feuerhelm family, was founded in 1999 with the first cows milked in August 2000. Over the years, the dairy has expanded to about 3,500 head. The growth, expansion and strong reproduction program are all the result of teamwork.

There are a lot of moving parts to make a dairy operation function well. Plymouth Dairy promotes a constructive culture of teamwork, creating one of the best teams of owners, managers, herdsmen, veterinarians, nutritionists, technicians and consultants. Each member of the team has a role and responsibility and is encouraged to share new ideas for the betterment of the dairy. GENEX has
played a part on the team for nearly 18 years, bringing value in the form of genetics, service and expertise.

The dairy recorded a 12-month average 36% pregnancy rate for 2017 and boasted a 78% heat detection rate as well. They also recently increased sexed semen use in lactating cows and have seen tremendous results. On average, 87% of cows were pregnant by 150 Days in Milk which was aided by a first service conception of 52%, all while averaging 87 pounds of milk per day.

Add caption

If asked how the team at Mar-Bec Dairy has made the operation better for cows, he’ll say they learned from others. They learned about and implemented tunnel ventilation, added more fans, switched mattresses, made stalls wider and longer, and applied preventive measures like liming/bedding every other day.

If asked how the team planned the calf care facility built in 2013, he’ll say they gained ideas from visiting other dairies. Those ideas, coupled with excellent calf care, have contributed to a low calf death loss rate; annually, they lose less than one‑third of 1% of calves.

In short, education is valued. Both Marty and his son Jonathon, a partner in the LLC, received their
educations at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Now, Marty is in his sixth year serving on the board of directors for the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, whose mission is “to share ideas, solutions, resources and experiences that help dairy producers succeed.”

With generations of focus on female fertility and longevity, the dairy achieved a 42% average pregnancy rate on heifers for the year along with a 61% first service conception rate and 62% sexed
semen conception rate.

A-OK Farms owner, Mark Breunig and Herdsman David Muder continuously look for ways to improve their 450-cow dairy. A change was recently made in the type of sand used for bedding, and last year a separator was installed to reclaim that sand. The near future calls for tunnel ventilation to be added to the barns.

The team’s constant search for improvement areas have led to a 46% heifer pregnancy rate and 57%
first service conception rate. All heifers are genomically tested which allows the team to cull the ones
with the lowest genetic merit. They then sort the remaining top 75% to be bred to sexed semen for two services before conventional semen is used. The bottom 25% receive conventional semen.

In addition to a great crew of 13 on-farm employees, quarterly team meetings are held with the nutritionist, veterinarian and GENEX Account Manager to focus on ways the farm can improve. Each team member plays a valuable role in the farm’s success. “If we are missing a link, it just won’t work,” explains Mark. One of the ideas that recently came from a team meeting was just-in-time calving and the A-OK team likes the results. “Things here are always evolving, and that is how we like it,” Mark adds.

To learn more about what these farms are doing to increase their reproductive rates, turn to page 22 of our Horizons.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Getting the Boys Ready for the Camera

A few weeks ago I revisited a post I had written on picturing cows. Having assisted with the process many times got me to thinking about picturing our bulls. I use their photos all of the time on social media, flyers and advertisements, but I have never been present to see if it is any different. So I did a little checking, and as luck would have it, we were due to picture nine bulls in the middle of May. So I was off to our Ford barn for a morning of learning and observation.

The first thing I discovered actually occurred even before I made it to the barn. The genomic era has us picturing bulls at a younger age than in the past. This makes for a much easier and safer day. In the past, waiting to take photos of daughter-proven bulls meant their attitudes (and hormones) were in full swing. In fact, in order to provide an element of safety for the handler, a cage was built and mounted to the back of a tractor. The sire handler would ride inside of the cage and the bull would be walked to the area outside of the barn where the photos would be taken.

Which brings me to difference number one between picturing cows and our bulls.


1.  Bull photos are taken in the collection arena. Since we have the technology to add a scenic background to the photos, there is no need to take the bulls out of the environment they are used to. This adds to the safety element for everyone (bulls included) involved.

Since we export semen across the world, strict biosecurity protocols are in place. This brings me to differences two and three.

2.  In order to enter the Ford barn, individuals must shower, change clothes, suit up or a combination of the three. I was lucky enough to get a white disposable coverall suit to wear. Sorry, no pictures were available.😉 Those who work with the animals have clothes they keep in the locker room, and they change every day when they come to work.

3.  All of the supplies, from the boards that are used under the animal's feet, to the clippers and fitting sprays were bought specifically for the Ford barn and never leave the facility.

My last difference between bull and cow picturing became evident after I watched a couple of bulls go through the process. 

4.  With cow photos, we always have the same individual hold the animals. With our bull photos, a specific sire handler holds the bull. Since each bull has a handler, this also adds to the
safety and efficiency factors.

The process of picturing bulls went much more smoothly than I thought was possible. The animals were extremely calm and responded well to those setting their feet. I actually found the bulls I watched that day were better behaved than most of the cows I have assisted with. I attribute that to the fact the bulls are worked daily and are used to being led, whereas the cows we take photos of are commercial cows who aren't usually used to a halter. 
Here is a little time-lapse video to give you an idea of what takes place the day of bull picturing.


Thanks to Nate, Kenny, Luke, Andy, Jesse, Morgan and especially our talented photographer, Sarah Damrow, for allowing me to spend time observing.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Future is Agriculture

As part of our commitment to the future of agriculture, each year GENEX awards scholarships to college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. GENEX, a part of Cooperative Resources International (CRI), awards college students who are actively involved on a member’s farm or ranch and exhibit a passion of leading the way for the agriculture industry.

The six recipients of this year’s CRI Collegiate Scholarship exemplify the drive, dedication and devotion that agriculture requires. Their response to what agriculture means to them is proof:


Students earning the $750 scholarship include: Jessica Schmitt of Fort Atkinson, Iowa; Lantz Adams of Laton, California; Matthew Grossman of Pittsville, Wisconsin; Donovan Buss of York, Nebraska; Bridger Gordon of Whitewood, South Dakota; and Erica Helmer of Plymouth, Wisconsin.

These applicants are a promise to a bright future in agriculture.

“We are proud to support youth who are interested in furthering their education and commitment to agriculture,” states Terri Dallas, Vice President of Communications. “Not only do these students understand the importance of agriculture; they are tremendous advocates for it as well.”

The hard work, passion and leadership skills needed for the agriculture industry is not lost on these students. In their applications they described opportunities that helped them grow, such as interning for a congressman in Washington D.C., volunteering on mission trips, leading FFA chapters and 4-H clubs, taking advanced placement classes to push themselves academically, spearheading educational events to spread agriculture awareness, and managing critical roles on the operations they work.





“These applicants are a promise to a bright future in agriculture,” states Terri. “Along with their exceptional leadership, the heart and determination they demonstrate sends a strong message that tomorrow’s agriculture is in good hands.”

Friday, May 11, 2018

Fertility: The New Normal


By Kim Egan, DVM, Director of Strategic Accounts, GENEX

The world of dairy is one of continuous improvement. Tight margins, expense of heifer rearing, and the drive to improve herd genetic potential have made excellent reproduction an even more important item on many farms. Over the last several years, much has been learned and implemented to improve cow comfort, nutrition, and health. Genetics, fertility-enhancing synchronization programs and market pressures have all had an impact as well. An article written in 2015 regarding reproductive goals is already out-of-date. Below are the top five items being tracked on dairies today and updated goals for reproductive performance given the advancements over the last few years.


1) Percent pregnant by 150 Days in Milk (DIM). It seems many of the herds we work with have exceeded the goal of 75% that we were looking at a few years ago. Confirming this, our Dairy Performance Navigator system shows the top 10% of herds by milk production out of 280 Holstein herds, each with over 500 cows, now average 81% of the herd pregnant by 150 DIM. GENEX Excellence in Reproduction Award winners for 2017 averaged 88% pregnant by 150 DIM. A new goal of >80% of cows pregnant by 150 DIM seems appropriate now.

2) 3-week pregnancy rate. Depending on the program your farm uses, the calculation of cows that are eligible to be bred may vary. Ultimately, the pregnancy rate is driven by conception rates and service rates. Factors that diminish estrus expression or detection or reduce conception will reduce the pregnancy rate. Many factors that affect reproductive success are shown below.
Holstein herds with 500 cows or more in our Dairy Performance Navigator℠ (DPN℠) program average 25% annual pregnancy rates, with the top 10% by cow pregnancy rate achieving an average of 34%. A good goal for 3-week pregnancy rate is now 30%.

3) Conception by breeding code, service number, semen type. Many herds are using sex-sorted semen in the lactating herd as well as their heifers, this frequently has lower conception than conventional semen. There are also differences in synchronization programs for first service and later services. It is best to track conception of differing breeding codes (ex: resynchronization versus heat detection) and semen types, so that if change in reproductive performance is desired, the areas can be monitored in relation to the goal and to historical performance. Good goals here would match the following: The top 10% of Holstein herd by cow pregnancy rate in our DPNprogram are achieving first service conception >45% in their lactating herds. For heifers, the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association gold standard for first service conception rate with sexed semen is 60%.  





4) Percent of heifers pregnant at 15-17 months old. This is still a favorite measure of the overall efficiency of the virgin heifer reproductive program. The range can be adjusted based on your voluntary waiting period, but should allow time for breeding and pregnancy diagnosis. Delays in moving heifers into the breeding pen or inadequate heat detection will reduce this percentage. Skipping the pregnancy examinations or missing data will also skew this data. Increased percentages reflect efficient use of days (or months) heifers are fed before freshening and return income to the dairy. Currently, the top 10% of Holstein herds by heifer pregnancy rate in our DPN
program are achieving 85% of heifers pregnant at 15-17 months, that is an excellent goal for any dairy farm.

5) Number of eligible animals beyond first service deadline not inseminated. Many farms are achieving 100% of animals (both cows and heifers) inseminated within 28 days of their voluntary waiting period. It is important to have a fixed goal by which all animals should be inseminated, yours may be different than 28 days or may include weight for the heifers. Animals removed from breeding pens and/or missed on synchronization programs may not be inseminated, reducing the service rate and reducing the dairy’s efficiency. The goal for animals beyond first service deadline not inseminated is zero.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Easy A.I. Steps for Added Success

With a lot of beef breeding projects in full swing and dairy farmers looking for additional efficiencies, I thought it would be a great time to talk about proper artificial insemination technique. Last year I posted about common A.I. mistakes, so today's topic is going to be on doing things correctly. Whether you are just learning or a seasoned veteran, check out this list! 


If you would prefer a more comprehensive evaluation of your A.I. technique, talk to your GENEX representative about the A.I. AccuCheck℠ program